Odeon of Herodes Atticus

Odeon of Herodes Atticus

Odeon of Herodes Atticus or Herodeon
Ωδείο Ηρώδου του Αττικού or Ηρώδειο
Alternative names Herod Atticus Odeon / Odeum
General information
Type Amphitheatre
Architectural style Classical
Address Dionysiou Areopagitou Street
Town or city Athens
Country Greece
Coordinates
Completed 161 AD
Renovated 1950
Height
Roof Destroyed in 267 AD
Technical details
Floor count 3
Design and construction
Main contractor Herodes Atticus
Other information
Seating type Stone benches
Seating capacity 5000

The Odeon of Herodes Atticus is a stone theatre structure located on the southwest slope of the Acropolis of Athens.

Ancient times

Historical image of Odeon of Herodes Atticus (ca. 1880)
Herbert von Karajan and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus (1939)
View of the theatre from the Acropolis

It was built in 161 AD by the Athenian magnate Herodes Atticus in memory of his wife, Aspasia Annia Regilla. It was originally a steep-sloped theater with a three-story stone front wall and a wooden roof made of expensive, cedar of Lebanon timber. It was used as a venue for music concerts with a capacity of 5,000. It lasted intact until it was destroyed and turned into a ruin by the Heruli in 267 AD.

Modern events

Detail of the façade

The audience stands and the orchestra (stage) were restored using pentelic marble in the 1950s. Since then it has been the main venue of the Athens Festival, which runs from May through October each year, featuring a variety of acclaimed Greek as well as International performances.

In 1957 Maria Callas performed at the Odeon as part of the Athens Festival and in the same year Edith Hamilton was pronounced an honorary citizen of Athens at ninety years of age. In May 1962 Frank Sinatra gave two Benefit concerts for the city of Athens. The Odeon of Herodes Atticus was the venue for the Miss Universe 1973 pageant. Another memorable performance at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus was given by the Greek singer Nana Mouskouri in 1984; after 20 years of absence she returned to her country. Luciano Pavarotti performed at the Odeon twice, in 1991 and in 2004. Vangelis' Mythodea premiered at Odeon of Herodes Atticus in July 1993 and the venue hosted Yanni's [[Yanni